Dr. Verna Billy-Minnabarriet, EdD ’12

Education leader and researcher, Verna Billy-Minnabarriet committed her life to education and economic development for Aboriginal communities. She has represented Aboriginal organizations at the provincial, national, and international level, and has been a vocal advocate for the advancement and funding of Aboriginal education.

The University of British Columbia alumna completed her doctoral program in educational leadership and education in 2012. The focus of her work has been to empower and strengthen Aboriginal peoples through community-based education and economic development.

At the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), Billy-Minnabarriet implemented education and training programs for the Native Adult Instructors Diploma curriculum. She worked as an instructor for the Community Futures Development Corporation of the Central Interior First Nations, an organization that promotes community economic development and provides support services to First Nations peoples.

Billy-Minnabarriet currently serves as chair of the Indigenous Adult Higher Learning Association (IAHLA). In 2013, in her role as chair, and on behalf of the 40 First Nations institutes IAHLA represents, she led lobbying efforts to reverse province-wide funding cuts to Aboriginal education. She is also vice president of academic and strategic partnerships at NVIT and sits on the board of the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer, which helps facilitate province-wide communication and co-operation among BC’s post-secondary institutions.